Do We Care Enough About the Presence of Sexual Problems in Diabetic Patients?

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Bilen H., Dayanan R., Ciftel E., Bilen A., Ciftel S., Mercantepe F., ...More

International journal of general medicine, vol.16, pp.5147-5156, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.2147/ijgm.s441833
  • Journal Name: International journal of general medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.5147-5156
  • Ataturk University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: Sexual health is not only the absence of sexual dysfunction or disability, but also the presence of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality. The current study aims to determine whether all adult patients who have applied for their regular health check-ups due to diabetes mellitus had ever voluntarily expressed their sexual problems to a specialist and whether they were asked about the presence of sexual dysfunction. It also aims to determine how the physicians attach importance to the issue. Patients and Methods: All patients aged 18-65 years with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, who applied to our hospital between the years of January 2021 and 2022, were questioned by filling out a questionnaire for the presence of sexual problems in addition to screening for chronic complications of diabetes mellitus (retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy) and routine history and physical examination. Results: The association between the presence of sexual problems and whether patients were questioned about the relevant issue in their previous controls and gender and age factors, educational background, presence of comorbidities, duration of marriage, and microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus were examined. In a population of 595 patients, 53.78% of the patients stated that they had sexual problems; however, 9.91% had been questioned about this issue by the physician. It was observed that 6.3% of female and 15.3% of male patients had previously consulted a doctor voluntarily due to their sexual problems. Conclusion: This study presents empirical findings that shed light on the inadequacies in healthcare providers' approach to addressing sexual health concerns among individuals diagnosed with diabetes, as well as the shortcomings in patients' effective communication of these concerns.